AURORA | Aurora police and Regional Transportation District officials are continuing to investigate an incident in which a light-rail car came off the tracks and several people were injured, at least one seriously, in Aurora last week, officials confirmed Monday.
As originally reported by The Denver Post, the driver of an R Line light rail train that derailed near the intersection of Sable Boulevard and East Exposition Avenue during an early morning snowstorm on Jan. 28 has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to Laurie Huff, RTD spokeswoman.
That’s standard RTD policy following such incidents, Huff said.
“That fact doesn’t imply any blame, that’s just a reflection of the process,” she said.
Huff said RTD is conducting an internal investigation of the derailment, and Aurora police are conducting their own inquiry.
Huff did not specify when the RTD investigation may be finished, but she said the results will likely be made public upon completion.
Officer Kevin Deichsel, spokesman for the Aurora police traffic unit, said police are still “knee-deep in the investigation … we’re still trying to figure out the electronic side of it.”
Deichsel said the APD investigation will take “several weeks” to complete.
An R Line train turning west onto East Exposition Avenue “jumped the tracks” at about 7:15 a.m. last Monday, according to Aurora police.
One woman was “ejected from the train,” and sustained serious injuries, according to police. The woman is now in stable condition.
Witness reports from the scene indicated the woman who was ejected had a portion of one of her lower extremities severed.
“My knee and rib hurt but thank you lord for protectin(g) me from what (c)ould have been worse,” Davion Finley, a man who said he was on the train when it came off the tracks, wrote on Facebook shortly after the incident. “Pray those wom(e)n are OK, especially the lady who got her foot chopped off.”
Several other people on the train were treated for minor injuries, according to police.
Finley wrote that “the train almost flipped over,” but hooked into the oncoming tracks. Several other people on the train were tossed into each other, Finley wrote.
Heavy snow delayed buses and trains for hours early last Monday.
“Speed and weather conditions, due to heavy snowfall, are factors being considered,” Aurora Police Sgt. Chris Carleton wrote on the department blog last week.
The intersection was closed for several hours as investigators worked to clear the scene.